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Paul McCartney Reacts to Gerry Marsden's Death: 'I’ll Always Remember You With a Smile'

The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Roy Orbison
Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty Images

From left: Paul McCartney, Freddie Marsden (behind), George Harrison, Gerry Marsden, Ringo Starr (back), Les Maguire (back), John Lennon, John 'Les' Chadwick (back), Roy Orbison, 1 May 1963.

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to his old friend Gerry Marsden, who died at 78 after an illness related to a heart infection.

McCartney had a personal connection to the Gerry and the Pacemakers frontman, from the band's beginnings in Liverpool alongside the Beatles.

"Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music," McCartney wrote in a heartfelt post on Twitter about the "You’ll Never Walk Alone" singer Sunday evening (Jan. 3).

"My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family," he said. "See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile."

McCartney shared the above photo of the Beatles posing with Gerry and the Pacemakers and Roy Orbison, circa 1963.